At 18-25, the Dallas Mavericks have not exactly been having the season they had expected.
Dallas sits fourth in the Southwest division and 11th in the Western conference, with more than half of the season gone.
If Dallas is going to keep their streak of 12 consecutive playoff appearances alive, it is clear they need to make some kind of move with their roster.
Dallas just doesn't have the talent to win consistently right now, and they don't have the players to entice free agents to come over the summer either.
Mark Cuban has stated that the "bank of Cuban" is open for business and every Mavs player not named Dirk Nowitzki could be dealt.
With Dallas in need of making a big move, here are five trades they can pull off that would help them in the future.
There has been lots of talk over the last year of Raptors point guard Jose Calderon becoming a Dallas Maverick.
Many expected him to join Dallas in the offseason, but even with the acquisition of Kyle Lowry, the Raptors opted to keep the veteran Calderon on the roster.
Still, with just one year left on his contract worth $10.5 million he could still end up on the Mavericks by seasons end.
Dallas still isn't happy with their point guard situation. Darren Collison has been on and off this year, and it is unclear whether the organization believes in him enough to go after him after his contract expires after this season.
Calderon, however, is a much more proven commodity. And if the Mavs were able to resign him next season for less than his current contract, he could be an excellent set-up man for Dirk Nowitzki, O.J. Mayo and the rest of the Mavs roster in 2013-14.
Plus, they would get rid of two of the only non-expiring contracts on the team in Carter and Marion, and allow them to have even more cap space in the offseason.
The Raptors would gain two valuable bench players in Marion and Carter (Carter's history in Toronto not withstanding) and it would give them an opportunity to try and become contenders next season.
They also would get to try out young guards Rodrigue Beaubois for the remainder of the year before his contract expires.
Although the Utah Jazz are still playoff contenders this season, don't be surprised to see them try and ship their top scorer and rebounder Al Jefferson by season's end.
Jefferson is in the final year of his contract, and it seems unlikely that he will remain with the Jazz past this season.
Jefferson is a dynamic scorer in the post, and is consistently one of the most underrated offensive big men in the league.
Dallas may not be a front-runner to land Jefferson, but if Mark Cuban comes calling, the Jazz would be wise to at least listen to an offer from the Mavericks.
In terms of winning this season, trading Jefferson for Vince Carter and Chris Kaman is likely the best deal the Jazz would get.
While it doesn't necessarily improve the Jazz roster this season to lose Jefferson, gaining a great scoring big man like Kaman to take over his starting spot would keep the Jazz in the mix.
Plus, Carter is exactly what the Jazz need coming off the bench as they lack any real depth at the shooting guard position.
As for the Mavericks, they would be able to have possibly the best power forward/center combo in the West with Jefferson and Dirk Nowitzki.
The Mavs would have to lock down Jefferson for the long term, but knowing the amount of cap room they have after this year, Mark Cuban and company should be able to keep Jefferson in Dallas for years to come.
Rumors have been swirling in the last several weeks that the Grizzlies are potentially interested in shopping Rudy Gay this season.
While the move seems a bit odd from a tactical standpoint considering the Grizzlies are in position to challenge in the West this year, Gay still has three years and $16 million left on his contract, and the Grizzlies are looking to have more flexibility in the upcoming off seasons.
While last weeks minor trade that the Grizzles made to trade Marreese Speights and others to the Cavaliers put them safely under the luxury tax this season, (meaning that Memphis was no longer in need of trading Gay) it still remains a possibility that they could shop him by the trade deadline.
Dallas could be a team that would be interested in Gay's services. Reuniting Gay with O.J. Mayo would bring an interesting dynamic to the Mavs starting lineup, but having two top perimeter scorers to compliment Dirk Nowitzki is certainly an appealing option for Dallas.
Gay, who averages 17.5 PPG this season, would be a big contract to take on for Dallas. However, a big three of Mayo, Gay, and Nowitzki would at least put the Mavs in the running for a championship next season if the right pieces were put around them.
As for Memphis, Kaman would be a nice off the bench big man to help out Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, while Marion could go right in the starting lineup to replace Gay at small forward.
While losing Gay may seem like it would hurt the Grizzlies, according to ESPN's trade machine, this deal would actually increase the Grizzlies record by four wins this season.
There has been plenty of speculation about another Western Conference center with a troubled past ending up in Dallas in the near future, but an under-the-radar deal that could go through is Kings center DeMarcus Cousins heading to the Mavericks.
Cousins has been a stud on the court for the Kings, but his attitude has gotten in the way of his All-Star talent. Cousins has butted heads (sometimes literally) with several of his teammates and management since he was drafted by Sacramento in 2010.
With Dallas looking to land another dynamic big man, Cousins could be the right man for the job if the franchise is willing to work through is off-the-court issues.
In this scenario, the Mavs would land a 22-year-old Cousins with two years still left on his deal to be the heir apparent to Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas when he hangs it up.
Dallas would hope that a Cousins-Nowitzki combo would be enough to lure one more piece that would land them in the championship picture in the next few seasons as well.
Dallas would also be able to give former lottery pick Jimmer Fredette an opportunity to finally find the playing time he needs to be a productive NBA player. Fredetter can flat out score, and although he still needs to work on his defense and consistency, he could be a great fit in Dallas in a backup role for the rest of the year.
Sacramento would get a young piece in Jared Cunningham, a capable point guard in Darren Collison, an athletic big man in Brandan Wright, but more importantly, two expiring contracts and a dump of over $6 million dollars in salary for next season.
No one could have anticipated things going the way they have in Los Angeles this season.
When the Lakers acquired Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the offseason to play alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the Lakers seemed like an easy favorite in the Western Conference and top challengers for the Heat's NBA title.
However, things have gone in the complete opposite direction for the Lakers. They currently sit at 18-25, tied with the Mavs in the standings.
Dwight Howard has been battling injuries, and chemistry issues with Kobe Bryant and the rest of the Lakers since arriving in tinseltown, and the experiment has been a complete failure thus far.
With Howard's contract expiring at the end of the season, the Lakers may be looking to cut their losses now so they can land something for Howard before he walks at the end of the season.
Howard has stated in the past that the Mavericks would be a top choice, and you would think little would change this offseason. Dallas would likely be one of the few teams who could sign Howard to an extension if he was traded mid-season.
The Mavericks with Howard would certainly have to have some time to figure each other out, but the idea of Nowitzki and Howard playing together in the front court would be a dream come true for Mavericks fans.
Plus, Howard in a Dallas uniform could lure someone like Chris Paul or another elite player to jump ship and try to bring the Mavs another title.
Los Angeles would get almost the entire productive portion of the Dallas roster outside of Dirk Nowitzki and O.J. Mayo, and all four players they are acquiring would be able to fill much needed roles on the Lakers squad.
There may not be a deal out there in which both teams can benefit more than this one, so if the Lakers are willing, Mark Cuban and the Mavs should absolutely pull the trigger on bringing D12 to Dallas.